Anthea & Andrew's Toronto Reference Library Wedding

Anthea and Andrew created a wedding that incorporated Chinese, Korean, and Canadian wedding traditions into their day seamlessly.  We started out at a beautiful air B&B in a century Toronto home where the couple got ready.  They hosted a side-splittingly fun set of door games and a beautiful Chinese tea ceremony, before moving on to an elegant ceremony in a vaulted cathedral of Grace Church on the Hill.  Their close friends played music, and family sat proudly in the front rows as light from the high church windows fell across the pews.

The Toronto Reference Library provided a beautiful backdrop for the photographs and reception, as well as a Korean tea ceremony performed in colourful and ornate traditional clothing.   We explored the winding staircases of the library, and finished the evening with sunset photographs on the balcony as Anthea’s family presented her with gold jewellery as per the Chinese custom.

These two took me back to the university town where they met for their engagement photographs, and spent so much time laughing that I couldn’t wait to photograph them again at their wedding.  Despite the rain we encountered for their photographs, they were full of laughter and fun throughout the whole day, entertained their reception with heartfelt speeches, table toasts, and a rap rhyming kissing game that kept everyone on their toes. 

I absolutely love it when couples have some fun with their wedding day, and Anthea and Andrew made sure to keep their guests entertained and enjoying a fantastic time!

Vivian & Curtis' Modern and Minimalist Wedding

Vivian is one of the most creative brides I've had the pleasure of working with.  Together they crafted a gorgeous wedding in Toronto full of modern and minimalist accents, most of which were DIY projects they designed and undertook together. 

They wedding was centered around a white, blue, and gold colour palette.  Gorgeous pops of red and gold worked their way into the wedding day for their family tea ceremony, when both bride and groom wore beautiful traditional attire, and Vivian's closest family members decorated her with gorgeous gold bangles and earrings. 

The couple was married in a beautiful church ceremony in a soaring white room with large windows spilling light across the whole congregation.  Their creativity really shone through during the reception, as guests enjoyed a cocktail hour under beautiful hanging geometric floral designs, and sat at tables decorated with perfectly styled minimalist touches.

Enjoy.
xo
-c

Stefanie & Dave's Colourful Backyard Wedding

Stefanie & Dave created a colorful and creative backyard wedding behind their parents house, overlooking a lake on a gorgeous summer day.  The weather was endlessly sunny and clear from dawn until dusk, and the entire wedding took place outdoors, moving under an open tent for dinner, and back onto the lawn for their lively dance under string lights and stars.  

Stefanie is an artist and entrepreneur at heart.  With a budding floral business, and hand dyeing fabrics with natural dyes, she created the most spectacular, wild and colorful bridal bouquet.  Her dress was a beautiful flow-y number from Blush by Hayley Paige, and she wore a comfortable and stylish pair of brown leather ankle boots.  It was an outfit that allowed the bride to be herself, dance in the grass until the bottom of her dress had changed color, and climb all over the family sailboat to get her twinkle lights working.  I loved the free spirit and creativity of this wedding!

The part of the evening that topped everything off however was when the groom's family hired a surprise mariachi band.  The band approached the wedding by boat, and surprised the bride and groom out on their dock, playing their first set across the water before kicking up one of the best wedding dance parties I've seen in a long time.  Complete with the fathers of the bride and groom dancing together, and a lively game of limbo played with a canoe paddle that almost everyone at the wedding, the bride and groom included, took part in. 

What I loved about this wedding is how perfectly 'them' it was.  Every part of the day was relaxed, easygoing, and creative.  Their color and joy was contagious to all the guests present, families came together beautifully in happiness, and everyone sported retro white wayfarer sunglasses during the sunny ceremony.  Take a look through for a wedding that blended different families, cultures, and styles into a beautiful and joyous mix that will bring a smile to your face.

Sneak Peek: Meredith & Oliver's Intimate Wedding at the Gladstone Hotel

Meredith and Oliver are from Ottawa, but they decided to get married with their closest friends and family from all over the world at the beautiful Gladstone Hotel in Liberty Village.  Falling in love with the unique room decor, rooftop patio, fabulous restaurant, and stunning ceremony space is a given, and I was SO excited to get to photograph a fabulous looking wedding at a fabulous looking venue!  I photographed Meredith and Oliver's engagement session last year, and we had so much fun spending a few hours together taking photographs that I was beyond excited to meet them again and get creative using the countless unique rooms, nooks, and staircases for their wedding photographs.  They were game to play up the Wes Anderson vibe of the venue, and their unique, creative style fit perfectly with the stylish and eclectic venue. 

Although I have countless photographs I can't wait to share with you, unfortunately wedding season is in full swing and blog posts take me absolutely foreverrrrr to put together.  So, take a look through this sneak peek blog post for now, and check back a little later for more photographs if you like what you see (or maybe want some inspiration for your own wedding at The Gladstone!).  Pause to take a quick look at the groom's 'just married' reaction, it might just make your day!

xo
-c

Alexis and Collin's Winter Waterfront Wedding

One of my goals for 2018 is to book more off-season weddings, so I can reserve more summer weekends off to spend with friends and family enjoying the outdoors next year.  There, it's out in the universe.  I was lucky to photograph a number of stunning winter weddings this year, including an intimate outdoor ceremony by a frozen river, and an elegant indoor wedding at the Windsor Arms Hotel; and I have a few more fun ones coming up in December including a Christmas themed wedding, and a wedding in Barbados just before New Years.  All in all, these creative weddings are something I want to do far more of, and I realized that none of them have appeared on my blog so far!  (granted, I'm still catching up on blogging last summer's weddings, so it goes.)

Alexis and Collin got creative with their winter wedding photos (like they did with their engagement photos here)  and planned to take most of their photographs indoors having too much fun playing with a confetti cannon to add some action and colour, just in case the early January weather proved too cold to take any photographs outdoors.  The bridesmaids came equipped for winter temperatures with beautiful fur stoles, and the stylish bride sported the famous #justmarriedjacket by the talented Via Calligraphy.

Take a look through the photograph below to see how a little bit of creativity can make a Canadian winter wedding absolutely beautiful.

xo
-c

Roy & Kat's Winter Brickworks Wedding

I always struggle with the words to describe how amazing each and every one of the weddings I get to photograph is, so I can only say that Roy and Kat's January wedding was an absolutely stunning kick off to 2016.  I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year!  After getting ready all morning, we headed down to the Evergreen Brickworks to take photos with the family and wedding party.  It was a chilly day out, but everybody was too happy and game to notice.  The photos are full of beautiful misty breath, the bride kept her bridesmaids warm with sweet wooly arm and leg warmers, and we sipped on steamy hot apple cider from the Brickworks' winter market.  I love winter photo sessions!

We then continued on to their lovely ceremony and incredibly delicious dinner at the farm-to-table style Globe Bistro on the Danforth.  Guests ate and danced the night away, speeches were full of laughter and tears, and a unique German wedding tradition from the bride's cousin found the bride and groom racing to cut their way through a sheet while their guests watched and took sides cheering them on.  Needless to say, everybody present was thrilled to spend a crisp January day celebrating Roy and Kat's marriage, and I can't imagine a better kick-off to 2016 than celebrating with these two. :)

Venues: Globe Bistro, Evergreen Brickworks
Florals: Leaf and Bloom
Hair and Makeup: ESBridal
Dress: The Bride's Project

Shooting Film: An Introduction

Last year I decided that I was going to begin incorporating some good old fashioned film photography into my professional wedding work.  I love everything about film.  The colours, the textures, the way film reads light differently from my digital sensor, the thought and time that goes into planning each film shot, I was (and still am) absolutely infatuated with every aspect of being a fine-art wedding photographer.   So, in the fall I started getting the ball in motion to move my business in this direction.  So far, it hasn't been an entirely easy process, so for the sake of both my own reflection and helping anyone else who is interested in moving towards film, I've decided to write about what I'm learning along the way.

I'm a meticulous planner, organizer, and maker of 'Pro's and Con's' lists.  I spent countless hours researching and agonizing over minute details between camera bodies and film stocks, lens coatings and light meters.  I finally went out and bought my first medium format film camera, a gorgeously restored old Hasselblad 500CM with a zeiss lens; and 50 rolls of film, fuji 400 colour in 120 format.   This used up a significant portion of my savings, so my camera then sat in a heavily padded bag for several months, emerging only to be photographed by my digital camera.  Ironically.  I was too scared to start shooting with it and risk 'wasting' money on developing rolls that didn't work out.

Eventually, I realized that I would have to start shooting with my new investment in order to actually learn how to use medium format film, so I started researching how to shoot properly.  Somehow, in all my hours of camera body research, I had neglected to look up how to actually USE my camera.  I found out that colour film can create all kinds of different 'looks' based on how it's shot and processed, so I turned to the pro's at Richard Photo Lab to teach me all about pushing and pulling film, light conditions, and how I can create my own personal film aesthetic through working with them. 

To start with, the Richard Photo Lab blog is fantastic and I learned so much just by spending an afternoon scrolling through their posts.  I definitely recommend checking out their blog next if you're interested in using film.  On top of that, they've been fabulously helpful chatting with me by email about learning to shoot film.  They're based in California, so with foreign exchange and shipping it's been a bit pricey to develop my rolls with them, but to work with a lab whose work I consistently like, and who have been endlessly helpful to me as a learning resource, it's been well worth it!

Below are some of my first rolls of 120 film I shot.  I created these images at a styled shoot, which was the perfect place to get started.  I could work at my own pace without any of the external pressures of a wedding day, but I also HAD to shoot some rolls because the other vendors involved were keen to see it in action.  I'm happy with some of the results, and not so happy with others.  I still have a lot to learn about using my camera smoothly, and a long way to go to know how my film with react to different light, (to be honest I'm even still learning how to use my light meter properly), BUT I can't wait to shoot my next rolls of film and keep working towards shooting professionally with my Hasselblad (aka learning how to keep track of my dark slide).

xo
C